SAN FRANCISCO -- The All-Star Game is suddenly up in the air for ailing Marlins shorstop Hanley Ramirez, who said he still wants to play in the Midsummer Classic while also emphasizing that his main loyalty lies with the team.
"It's not more important than playing the regular season," Ramirez said of the All-Star Game. "I don't worry that much about the All-Star Game. It's a lot of fun, but we're two games out (of first place). That's what it's about right now. I just worry about that."
Ramirez, who was chosen by fans to be the National League's starting shortstop in Tuesday's All-Star Game in St. Louis, was not in the lineup on Wednesday for a fourth straight game due to a right hip flexor injury. He took batting practice on Wednesday for the first time in days, but said he still felt stiff and was not sure when he would be ready to play.
He said that if the injury hasn't improved by the weekend when the Marlins are in Arizona for a four-game series against the Diamondbacks, "then I won't play in it (the All-Star Game). I just want to play (with the Marlins) first before I go to the All-Star Game, at least one game or two games."
Ramirez, who has not played since Saturday, said he sustained the injury while fielding a ground ball on Friday against the Pirates. He said that after playing Saturday, he woke up Sunday feeling "really stiff."
He said the injury impacts every aspect of play: hitting, running and fielding.
While Ramirez said he is hopeful he'll be able to play in Arizona on Thursday when the Marlins open a four-game series against the Diamondback, he said he'll do so only if he's feeling 25- to 35-percent better than he is now. At the moment, Ramirez said he is at about half strength.
The Marlins have missed Ramirez's bat in the lineup. They lost 5-4 to the Giants on Monday and 3-0 on Tuesday.
"It's not good when you set in the bench and you get beat by one or two runs," he said.
-- With Ramirez hobbling and utilty player Alfredo Amezaga still out with a knee injury, the Marlins optioned outfielder Alejandro De Aza before Wednesday's game against the Giants and called up infielder Andy Gonzalez from Triple A New Orleans.
Gonzalez, who was hitting .260 with four home runs with the Zephyrs, was on the Marlins' Opening Day roster but did not play before being sent down.
To make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, the Marlins transferred Amezaga to the 60-day disabled list.